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Journal Article


Vannier C, Mulligan H, Wilkinson A, Elder S, Malik A, Morrish D, Campbell M, Kingham S, Epton M. Health Soc. Care Community 2021; ePub(ePub): ePub.


(Copyright © 2021, John Wiley and Sons)






Volunteering is a way for people to develop meaningful relationships within a social group and can lead to the building of social capital, from which both individuals and the wider group can benefit in the form of enhanced well-being. This study aimed to explore and describe the impact of volunteering on the volunteer coordinators and volunteers themselves in the eastern suburbs of Christchurch, New Zealand, an area particularly impacted by the devastating earthquakes in the period 2010/2011. Data were collected via semi-structured interviews with volunteer coordinators and volunteers (n = 35; 16 men, 19 women) from November 2018 to mid-January 2019. Thematic analysis of data highlighted a key theme of Creating and strengthening valued community connections, with subthemes of Personal growth, Community connections and Role of coordination. The key theme illustrated how formal volunteering created effort and opportunities towards the strengthening of personal and community connectedness. Our study demonstrates the importance of social connection for both individual and community well-being, emphasises the important role of "champions" in facilitating the building of bridging and bonding relationships between individuals and communities, and suggests a role for healthcare professionals to prescribe volunteering as a way to improve individual health and well-being outcomes.

Language: en


well-being; social connection; chronic disease; community networks; volunteers


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